Substitutes for Tomato in Curry( Alternative 6 Substitutes)

substitutes for tomato in curry

Do you always rely on tomatoes to give your curry dishes a rich, tangy flavor? Well, there are plenty of substitutes for tomato in curry that can add a unique twist to your favorite recipes.

Whether it’s due to allergies or simply not liking the taste, there are several reasons why someone may want to find a substitute for tomato in their curry.

Luckily, there are many ingredients that can be used as a substitute, adding flavor, color, and texture to the dish.

This blog post will explore some of the best tomato alternatives and how to use them in your next curry dish.

So, whether you’re looking for a non-dairy option or want to try something new, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in and discover some exciting new ways to make curry without relying on tomatoes!

Understanding the Role of Tomatoes in Curry

substitutes for tomato in curry

If you’re a curry lover like me, you know that tomatoes are a key ingredient in many recipes. They add a tangy flavor and vibrant color that’s hard to resist.

I love making curries with tomatoes – they’re a must-have ingredient for me, whether chicken, pork, or potato curry. However, I’ve made curries without them, which still turned out delicious.

Here are a few reasons why tomatoes are commonly used in curries:

  • Flavor: Tomatoes add a sweet and tangy flavor to the curry, which complements the spices used in the dish.
  • Texture: Tomatoes provide a thick and creamy texture to the curry, which makes it more satisfying to eat.
  • Color: Tomatoes give the curry a bright red color, making it more visually appealing.

Dairy-Based Substitutes For Tomato In Curry



Yogurt is a commonly used dairy-based alternative to tomato in curry dishes. It has a distinct tangy taste and a creamy texture that can enhance the overall flavor profile of the dish.

You can add yogurt towards the end of the cooking process to use yogurt as a substitute. Yogurt can also be used as a marinade for meat or vegetables, infusing them with its unique flavor before cooking.

If you’re not a yogurt fan, here are the substitutes you can use to add a creamy texture to your curry.


Cream is another dairy-based substitute that can be used in place of tomato in curry. It has a rich and creamy texture.

To use cream as a substitute, add it towards the end of cooking and stir well. Be careful not to let the cream boil, as it may curdle.

Coconut Milk

coconut milk in curry

Coconut milk is a widely used dairy-free replacement for tomatoes in curry dishes. It has a unique, nutty, and sweet flavor that can add a tropical flair to the dish.

To add coconut milk as a substitute, it can be added towards the end of the cooking process or used as a base for the curry sauce.

However, using dairy-based substitutes may affect the flavor and texture of the dish. Therefore, it’s essential to experiment with different types and quantities of dairy to find the perfect substitute that suits your curry recipe.

Tamarind as a Substitute For Tomato In Curry

Tamarind is a popular ingredient used in many Asian and African cuisines, and it is often used as a substitute for tomato in curry. Tamarind is a sour fruit, which makes it perfect for adding acidity to dishes.


It can be used in various forms, such as tamarind paste, concentrate, and tamarind pulp? Tamarind paste is the most commonly used form in cooking, made by soaking tamarind pulp in warm water and straining it to remove the seeds and fibers.

Tamarind concentrate is a more concentrated form, often used in commercial food production, while tamarind pulp is the raw form used in some traditional recipes.

Here are some tips for using tamarind as a substitute for tomato in curry:

  • Use tamarind paste or concentrate instead of tomato paste or puree.
  • It’s essential to start with a small amount and adjust it based on your taste preferences. This will ensure that the tartness of the tamarind doesn’t overpower the other flavors in your recipe. So go ahead and experiment with different amounts.
  • Use other ingredients, such as onions, garlic, and ginger, to add flavor to the dish.

Overall, tamarind is a great substitute for tomato in curry, and it can add a unique flavor to the dish. With some adjustments to the other ingredients, tamarind can be used to create a delicious and flavorful curry.

Tomato Sauce

tomato paste

Tomato sauce is a versatile and flavorful substitute for fresh tomatoes in curries.

It’s an excellent option for those who don’t have access to fresh tomatoes or are looking for a quick and easy alternative.

Sauce is made from cooked and pureed tomatoes, which gives it a similar texture to fresh tomatoes.
It also adds a rich and tangy flavor to the curry, making it a perfect addition to any recipe.

Tomato Paste

The other substitute is tomato paste. It is a concentrated paste made from cooked and strained tomatoes, reduced to a thick, rich paste.

When using tomato paste in curries, it’s important to keep in mind that it has a strong and concentrated flavor.

So, diluting it with some water before adding it to your curry is a great way to make sure it’s not too overpowering. This will also help to distribute the flavor evenly throughout the dish.

One thing I love about using tomato paste in curries is that it’s such a cost-effective option. You don’t need to use a lot of it to get that deep, rich flavor that we all love in a good curry.

One tablespoon of tomato paste for every cup of liquid in your recipe should do the trick!

Using tomato paste or sauce can be a great substitute for fresh tomatoes in curry recipes.
Just be mindful of the concentration and salt content, and adjust the seasoning accordingly.


In conclusion, many delicious and healthy substitutes for tomatoes in curries exist. Whether you want to add more flavor to your dish or need an alternative due to allergies or personal preferences, these options can help you achieve the same texture and taste as tomatoes.

From tangy tamarind to creamy cream, the possibilities are endless. So next time you make a curry and find yourself without tomatoes, don’t panic! Experiment with these substitutes and discover new flavors and textures for your curries.

Curry Recipes

Here are a few curry recipes that you might enjoy – some with tomatoes, and some without!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are some alternatives to tomatoes in curry?

There are several alternatives to tomatoes that can be used in curry. Some of the most common substitutes include tamarind paste, yogurt, coconut milk, and cream. These ingredients can be used in varying quantities depending on the recipe and personal preference.

2. How can I make curry without using tomatoes?

Curry can be made without using tomatoes by using one of the substitutes mentioned above. For example, tamarind paste can be used to add a sour flavor, while yogurt or coconut milk can be used to add a creamy texture. It is important to experiment with different ingredients to find the right balance of flavors and textures.

3. Are there any tomato substitutes for those with allergies?

For those with tomato allergies, there are several substitutes that can be used in curry. Some options include red bell peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, and beets. These ingredients can be used in place of tomatoes to add color, texture, and flavor to the dish.

4. Can tomato paste be used instead of tomatoes in curry?

Yes, tomato paste can be used as a substitute for fresh tomatoes in curry, but it should be used in smaller quantities. Tomato paste is more concentrated than fresh tomatoes, so it can easily overpower the other flavors in the dish. It is recommended to dilute tomato paste with water or broth before adding it to the curry.

5. Is adding tomato necessary for curry?

While tomatoes are a common ingredient in curry, they are not necessary. Curry can be made with a variety of ingredients, and the flavor can be adjusted to suit personal tastes. It is important to experiment with different ingredients and spices to find the perfect balance of flavors.

Hi, I'm Jeena, and I'm the author of Chaos of Flavor, a food blog dedicated to my love for cooking.  As someone who is deeply rooted in Nepalese culture, I enjoy sharing my passion for Nepalese cuisine through my recipes, including fusion recipes, which you'll find plenty of on my blog. Join me on my blog to stay up-to-date with my latest recipes :)